• Jacob Tashjian

The first presidential debate

With the second Presidential debate happening soon, it gives the American people time to reflect on the first presidential debate between current president and business tycoon Donald Trump and Democratic Nominee and former vice-president Joe Biden that happened on September 29 in Cleveland, Ohio.


It was moderated by FOX News journalist Chris Wallace and over the course of ninety minutes covered a variety of topics, with the most pressing issues discussed being the global pandemic, race relations and the vacant Supreme Court seat after the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.


After re-watching the debate in full, I can safely reassure everyone who did not get the chance to watch the debate or those who do not even remember it, it is for the best. Within the first five minutes, civility between both candidates dissipated and quickly devolved from talking about actual policy matters into both candidates yelling and making personal and unprofessional jabs at one another as Wallace attempted to reestablish order... emphasis on attempted. If one were to summarize the entire debate in a singular interaction, it would be Biden responding to President Trump after being interrupted during the topic of Supreme Court nominations, “will you shut up, man?”

Photo Credit: The Washington Post


To talk in detail about what happened in the debate would be both cumbersome to either read or write, so instead I asked some of my fellow SJM classmates and teachers about their thoughts on the debate and what stood out to them.


AP Government teacher Stephen Williams called the debate “a waste of time,” saying the candidates "did not explain their actual policies to the American people" with the moderator being unable to reign in the politicians.


"It was like watching kindergartners fight," said sophomore Charlotte Burks while sharing a similar sentiment, saying that the candidates spent more time attacking each rather than trying to be presidential.


Senior Patrick MonPere again echoed this with the brief but direct statement: "America lost that debate.”


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